I am writing to you and I am asking myself these questions: After eighty years of living this life: What have I learned? What matters to me?
As I am entering into my ninth decade I see things and hear things differently...Hallelujah!
Did you ever watch a baby and wonder at their growth, and all the things they learn in the first few months....... the first year? Life is truly a miracle, and an opportunity to have so many learning experiences. There are so many lessons.
Just before my 80th birthday, I am taking the time to sit in the remembering of my life. It is watching an odyssey, and seeing how each experience, "crisis" offered me an opportunity to grow.
In my teens, I was fortunate enough to go to "sleep away" camp.
I was the counselor who led the campers in song. The song I loved the best was:
"Rise and shine and give G-d your Glory, glory."
Even way back then I felt my love for G-d. and I wanted to rise in Glory and give Him my glory.
The next years, I was immersed in things to do: I graduated from college. I became engaged. I was married and before I was twenty seven, I was the mother of three wonderful children.
In the next decade, we bought our house in the suburbs. I was active in the league of Women Voters, politics (it was the Kennedy years) and the P.T.A. My life was full of movement: travelling, tennis, modern dance, and learning to be a gourmet cook. Life was filled with meeting new friends, dinner parties, the symphony, the theater, car pools, basketball games, little league, soccer matches, skating, dancing lessons for my children and car pools. My life was busy...and so was I.
In my forties, I began to question this life... wanting something.....longing for something, but did not know what that something was/
I remember hearing a song by Peggy Lee: " Is this all there is?" I identified with this song. I wanted, but I did not know what I wanted....but I thought it was out there. I thought that the more was "OUT THERE".
The circumstances and stories that I experienced do not matter.....what does matter is that I found that what I was longing for was always within me. There was a remembering I was trying to capture.
Everything I thought that was important no longer was. In this decade, I began my journey to find the "heart" of my mattering.
I had wonderful teachers, and was blessed by finding the Pathwork and Emmanuel. I went to graduate school. I took every training that would lead me back to my opened heart and to G-d. I lived in a spiritual community for almost three years.
I became a wife again. I became a Helper and a therapist....I led groups. I worked with Emmanuel and Pat and led retreats.....I was being bathed in Spirit and each choice I embraced, every time I said YES! I came closer to knowing who I was in G-d. I had grand children who were "letters from home."
I was expanding.....learning about addiction, learning about fear in a way I never knew before. I was learning where I still was closed...learning about the belief in separation that I allowed fear to impose upon me.
Another crisis, another divorce...and then G-d sent me my husband Adriano, We both traveled far to explore our soul's longing. We questioned every belief about relationship, about life, about G-d. (we still do)
Now, approaching my 80th birthday, I find myself writing this letter to you as I see the years of my life spread out in front of me.
I know now that to every thing there is a season, and there is a time for every purpose that informs the different facets of one's learning and of one's life.
As I write this to you I hear the words of Ecclesiastes 3 :
"To everything there is a season,
A time for purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
A time to die...."
For me....all the situations in my life, all the people in my life, all the circumstances of my life have given me an opportunity to live my purpose.
What is that? I have found out that I am indeed a Cheer leader for G-d. I am a substitute teacher for G-d, and I pray to be a clear voice for His teachings.
As Emmanuel once told me to say each morning as I awoke:
"Hear I am again G-d, answering your call of love."
It has taken me years to fully understand this.
That is what my life experience has taught me: I am of G-d....and that fear is no longer the voice I choose to react to.
I am entering into my 9th decade. (that really blows me away..because I have never been more filled with love, more peace and more gratitude. and more energy.)
I have been given the gift of precious children and grandchildren, the love of a generous and wise husband, committed friends, students who have been willing to walk this path with me and who have all been my teachers....and my teachers who have been the gift of the Divine.
What have I figured out in eighty years?
There can be no illusion, no duality without believing the voice of fear.
It is fear that preaches separation.
There is only one truth...and I want to speak this unadulterated truth....there is only love.
For my 80th birthday, I wish myself and all who read this letter to know that we "Rest in G-d," and in the spaciousness of this knowing we are safe.
This is the truth that I now know after all these years. This is the gift that this life has brought to me. I turn my will over to G-d.
What have I learned: That I am of G-d. In the acceptance of this truth..... there is only love...there is only peace, and I am finally walking in the truth of this loving reality.
What matters to me is that you and I are one....there is no separation....please take my hand and enter into this oneness with me.
My gift to myself and to you is a gentle embrace of ALL we are.
Thank you G-d for this most wonderous life.
With every inhalation....... there is peace and with each exhalation....there is our rebirth and resurrection.
Practice this with me:
With each inhalation I breathe in the truth of who I am...love.
With each exhalation I breathe into this present moment of NOW.
Welcome to this most marvelous life, and a very happy BIRTH day.